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California outlaws admission of country of origin evidence in personal injury lawsuits

California Governor Jerry Brown, Jr. on Wednesday, August 17 enacted into law a measure that outlaws the admission or discovery of evidence related to a person’s immigration status, in wrongful death and personal injury cases.

Assembly Bill 2159, which was supported by state Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (Democrat of San Diego), effectively overturns a 30-year-old court case, Rodriguez v. Kline, that assesses future damages for plaintiffs illegally working in the United States at what they would have earned from the country they came from instead of what they would have earned in the state of California had they not been injured.

The Rodriguez v. Kline decision set the precedent for defendants in personal injury cases to compute compensation for medical expenses based on medical care costs in the plaintiff’s place of origin rather than the cost of medical care in California, since the plaintiff should not have been living in the country anyway because he is living in the country illegally.

Our personal injury attorneys at Ritter & Associates, who provide legal services to our clients in San Diego or other areas in California, handle personal injury accident cases pertaining to product liability, auto accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other motor vehicle accidents, among others.

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